Jamaica International Service Learning
The Jamaica International Service Learning program provides an opportunity to explore the history, culture, socio-economic development, and formal and non-formal (community-based) education, public health and social work in Jamaica, while also learning what it means to be a global citizen in your chosen field. This program focuses on international service learning, diversity, and pro-poor development. During this immersive study abroad program in Jamaica, students will learn through observation and dialogue with local community members. Students will live in three different communities around the island, spending time with local families and engaging in community identified service initiatives. Through these experiences, students will be challenged to reflect upon their individual beliefs, personal biases, and judgments.
Four weeks: late June through late July
This program is based in three rural areas in Jamaica:
- Week One: Yallahs, St. Thomas Parish, Jamaica
- Week Two and Three: Petersfield/Galloway, Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica
- Week Four: Accompong, St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica
Language of instruction
- Focus on international service and community-based learning, diversity, and socio-economic development; open to undergraduate and graduate students
- You will take one integrated, interdisciplinary course and engage in a service/community-based project with a local partner organization. The required course combines experiential learning at service sites with academic readings and discussions.
- After arriving in Kingston, students will be transported to Yallahs where they will reside for one-week, engaging in various service learning experiences in area social service organizations and schools. Students will become oriented with the local culture, learning about the history of Jamaica from lectures and presentions by local experts. Students will also learn about the history of international service. Students will also have the opportunity to visit Kingston, and may spend time at the University of the West Indies campus to engage in dialogue with local students and faculty.
- Two weeks will be spent in Petersfield where students will be immersed in the culture through homestays with local families. During the day students will work with community partners at a summer camp for local children.
- The group will spend the final week in Accompong, where they will continue debriefing as they reflect on the previous three-weeks. Each of the abovementioned experiences provides students with multiple opportunities to explore the history, culture, socio-economic development, and formal and non-formal (community-based) services in Jamaica, while also learning what it means to be a global citizen in their chosen field.
- Throughout this study abroad experience, students will also spend time exploring the country and culture through field trips, local presenters and community events.
- You will also have the opportunity for in-depth study that focuses on issues that arise from your integrated learning experience. Students will complete relevant readings and integrate concepts learned through reflection essays which will be assessed on the depth of their reflections.
- The community-based service-learning experiences are arranged by the director and other on-site partners, as needed.
Students enroll in one course, Service Learning, for a total of three credits hours.
Undergraduates enroll in Education 2224: Service Learning (3 credits), Social Work 4000: Special Topics in Social Work (3 credits) or Sociology 2130: Selected Topics (3 credits)
Graduate students enroll in Urban Education 5515: Service Learning and Community Development (3 credits)
Weekends and some Fridays are devoted to educational travel/excursions. Specific destinations are selected based on student interests and may include visits to alternative tourism sites.
The course is taught by the Program Director, Dr. Cheri Carter.
Housing will vary depending upon the program location:
- In Yallahs, participants are lodged either dormitory-style in a beachfront villa or in a nearby guest house
- In Petersfield/Galloway, participants will live in homestays, usually in groups of two per home
- In Accompong, participants will live in basic shared apartments
Open to qualified students matriculated at U.S. colleges and universities.
Applying to the program
Application deadline: February 15